A panda cub from Smithsonian National Zoo survived a very complicated surgery which saved his life. Bei Bei is currently under surveillance, recovering from the emergency surgical procedure meant to facilitate a blockage located in his intestine. A spokeswoman from the Smithsonian National Zoo, Pamela Baker-Masson argued that Bei Bei is now conscious, currently recuperating from the severe surgery which he underwent.
The panda cub is in the panda facility of the zoo since November 25, after his surgery ended. The intestine blockage was characterized as being a very rare disease for panda bears. It consisted of a dense mass of half-digested bamboo which was as big as a lemon. This round mass of food was located at the top of the panda’s small intestine.
The rapid intervention of the zoo’s personnel, the accuracy of the care experts from the zoo, but also the help provided by volunteer veterinarians, managed to save the life of the panda cub. Little Bei Bei turned one last summer, in August.
Last Thursday, on November 24, the baby panda was observed displaying a rather unusual behavior, losing his appetite and being more lazy and sleepy compared to any other day. What is more, zoo officials have stated that the animal appeared to be nauseous, even vomiting twice.
Initially, the panda cub was treated for his nausea. On November 25, after observing no sign of amelioration in its mood, zoo officials had decided to transport the cub to the veterinary hospital of the zoo. There, Elyshia Hankin, a radiologist at the Friendship Hospital for Animals, underwent an ultrasound screening to discover what exactly the cause of the panda’s illness was.
The endoscopic exam proved that the blockage had swollen into the panda’s intestine, causing massive discomfort for the bear. If this problem was not to be treated soon, it could have turned into a life-threatening situation. Even if veterinarians had suspected such a problem, they needed to undergo the necessary tests to be sure that they were correctly treating Bei Bei.
Sebastian Gordon, a veterinary surgeon, was designated to help the little panda by undergoing an emergency procedure. During his recovery, the little bear will eat only soft meals, namely pears and sweet potatoes. Only after it will be cured, the panda bear will get back to his typical bamboo diet.
Image courtesy of: flickr